[UPDATE] Good Class Bungalow, luxury condo rents soar to new heights

/ EdgeProp Singapore |
It's not just prices of Good Class Bungalows and luxury condos that have soared, but rents are at an all-time-high too (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - In the Good Class Bungalow (GCB) market, it’s not just prices that have achieved new highs in both absolute and psf terms, but rents too. The highest recorded rental deal this year was for a GCB sitting on a land area of more than 32,000 sq ft at Ewart Park that was leased at a rate of $100,000 a month this July. Another GCB at Ewart Park sitting on a land area of over 33,500 sq ft was leased for $93,000 a month, according to URA Realis. Both deals are believed to be brokered by SRI.
A year ago, a brand-new GCB at Bishopsgate designed by Guz Architects was rented out for $150,000 a month. The deal was brokered by Wendy Neo, a specialist in luxury rental and sales at ERA Realty Network. The GCB is sitting on a land area of just over 17,100 sq ft with a built-up area of 15,000 sq ft.
“It’s not unusual for newer GCBs to be asking monthly rents of $100,000 to $150,000,” says Jacqueline Wong, executive director of residential services and private office at Savills Singapore. “But in order to achieve such rents, the GCB should typically be modern, with built-up area of at least 12,000 sq ft, and have the wow-factor.”
The Good Class Bungalow at Ewart Park that was leased for $100,000 a month this July (Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Who are these people willing to shell out six-digit monthly rents for a GCB? The Chinese nationals. “They don’t mind paying premium rents of up to $200,000 as long as the property is new, the land size is at least 20,000 sq ft, and if the house was designed by a renowned architect,” says Clare Loh, an agent with PropNex Realty who specialises in luxury real estate. “There’s a severe shortage of such GCBs for rent currently.”
Some of the foreigners who are now renting GCBs may already be Singapore permanent residents (PRs) and are in the midst of applying for their citizenship, says Savills’ Wong. “Renting a GCB is an interim measure,” she adds. “Once they have obtained their citizenship, they will be looking to buy their own GCB.”
The motives for renting a GCB vary, depending on the individual, notes Steve Tay, senior associate vice president at List Sotheby’s International Realty. “There are some Chinese and Europeans who are willing to pay a premium to rent a GCB just to experience the lifestyle that it offers, as it’s the most luxurious form of bungalows in Singapore. They may or may not have plans to apply for citizenship.”
GCBs are the most coveted of bungalows, and are located in 39 gazetted areas. Most of these sites have a minimum land size of 15,070 sq ft, and ownership is restricted mainly to Singapore citizens.
The Good Class Bungalow at Ewart Park that was leased for $93,000 a month this June (Photo: Albert Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

Upsizing from penthouses

Some of those who rented GCBs this past year were actually living in penthouses previously. “Post-Covid, the demand for bigger living spaces has grown,” notes List Sotheby’s Tay. “A well-built GCB in excess of 10,000 sq ft is able to offer a generous amount of living space as well as outdoor garden, private pool and garage.”
Given the high rents achieved, some GCB owners have decided to list their property both for sale and for lease. “There is a limited supply of well-designed and modern GCBs available for rent, hence such houses are able to command premium rents as demand has increased,” adds Tay.
In fact, many GCBs today are listed at asking rents upwards of $70,000 a month, says Savills’ Wong. “Two years ago, one of my clients rented a GCB in the Bukit Timah area for close to $50,000 a month and I thought that was high,” she remarks.
Source: URA Realis (downloaded as at Oct 19, 2021), EdgeProp Singapore
With vaccinated travel lanes expanded to more countries, the ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) and family office owners who had been holding back their travel plans will now be able to come to Singapore earlier than anticipated, Wong adds.
“We have clients from the US, UK and some parts of Asia who are planning to fly in,” according to Wong. “Some of them will be looking to rent while applying for a PR status.” Since PRs are not eligible to purchase GCBs, “they will be looking for the next best thing — luxury penthouses or ‘bungalows in the sky’”, she says.
Nassim Park Residences - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The biggest penthouse at Nassim Park Residences which is more than 8,000 sq ft has been leased out for $40,000 a month for the past two years (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)
Luxury apartments for $80,000 a month
Rents of sizeable luxury apartments and penthouses have also achieved new highs. According to URA Realis, at least three non-landed residential units achieved monthly rental rates of $60,000 this year. Two were at an apartment block on Dalvey Road, where units are of 13,300 sq ft to 14,200 sq ft.
The third unit to command a monthly rental rate of $60,000 was a four-bedroom luxury condo unit of more than 6,300 sq ft at the Signature Tower of The Marq on Paterson Hill in August this year. A year ago, the three highest rents were all achieved by The Marq on Paterson Hill for the same 6,300 sq ft apartment type, which comes with a private 15m lap pool, private lift lobby and double-volume ceiling at the living and dining area. Units come with four en suite bedrooms and a family or home entertainment room. The highest rent achieved last year was $52,000, followed by $50,000 and $45,000 a month respectively. According to Savills’ Wong, the asking rent for such units at The Marq on Paterson Hill is now $80,000 a month. (Discover insightful data of any Singapore condominium with our condo directory)
“There are UHNWIs who are prepared to pay such premium rents in a luxury condominium as they want the concierge service, and the lifestyle that they are accustomed to,” says Wong. “As their stay in Singapore tends to be more transient, they prefer a luxury apartment rather than a GCB.”
The Marq on Paterson Hill - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
At The Marq on Paterson Hill, a unit of 6,300 to 6,400 sq ft was leased for $60,000 a month in June this year (Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua/EdgeProp Singapore)

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